Christian Commentaries

WorshipperValentineís Day Tribute To The NRA - Parkland, Florida, February 14, 20181

The weekly tribute to the NRA is becoming a little different this time. Official actions in response to gun violence still include the prayers and thoughts of the President and his commendation to local law enforcement that they have done a great job in responding to this terror, and his praise for dead heros who should not have been. And there is resolve to finally solve this mental health problem that has for so long gripped our nation. And of course there are the promises at all levels to investigate and find out what went wrong. But this time there is the additional Presidential slur to an armed resource officer for not going back into the school and facing superior gunfire from an AR-15 semi automatic rifle. While calling the resource officer a coward for not committing suicide, President Trump also proposed arming willing teachers with deadly weapons2.

But Parkland residents and the students of Margery Stoneman Douglas High School are demanding more. They want meaningful action on gun control and they are putting the President, Congress and local officials on notice that any officials continuing to stonewall progress on meaningful gun control legislation are now recognized as not addressing the real problem, and perhaps deliberately so.

Youíve seen the rallies and heard the tearful speeches of high school students forced into adulthood to soon. Despite their youth, they have cut to the core of the problem and pinpointed the NRA and anyone who supports it as the real cause. They have made it clear that in their minds mental illness has little to do with the problem; since grade school they had all known that the shooter was unstable. Even so, he could not have killed and injured as many people with a knife or less powerful weapon. Guns are the problem and any elected official not able to as clearly see the problem should not be in office!

Their message is spreading throughout Florida and the nation. Already students from Arlington, Fairfax and Prince Williams counties in Virginia and Montgomery county in Maryland, all just out side the nation capital, staged walkouts to protest Congressís lack of effort on gun control. And there may be additional walkouts and public protests in other parts of the country in weeks to come.

But the students now need your help. The age of activism has dropped from college age during the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s and 70s to high school age today. And few high school students have reached the voting age of 18. Thatís why they need you and other voters who will vote what you believe!

If you believe your legislatures at local and state levels as well as the national level should have the ability to slice through the minutia and identify real problems and fix them, if you believe that they should be able to identify and disqualify all subterfuge, serve you and other constituents independent of the NRA and other powerful lobby groups, extricate themselves from the carefully crafted counter arguments of pro gun forces that serve only to distract and confuse those who might otherwise take meaningful action to curb gun violence, you must act!

You must take action to retire as many of the present legislatures as possible. Preferably, all current legislatures should go. If have they ever taken a dime from the NRA, they must go; if they oppose gun control, they must go; if they are for gun control but have done nothing about it or, have been unable to convince enough of their fellow legislatures to pass meaningful gun control legislation, they must go.

Even if the NRA cowers and retreats to its former days as a gun control advocacy group, any legislature identified above must go3. For whatever time they have held office they have defrauded their constituents.  They have allowed the NRA to cast the discussion in their terms, pointing to the criminal element, the foreign element and the mentally ill element all causing havoc while using guns. And according to them and the NRA the terror in our society is not due to guns. Really? As they tell it everyone has failed except them! Perhaps the real goal of the NRA is population control?

No matter. We have had enough! Polls indicate that from 70% to 90% of Americans, the people our legislatures should have been serving, support gun control and our legislatures cannot get it done. Too many have died and been injured as a testament to the lack of effort by those controlled by the NRA, they must go!

Endnote 1-Since 2013, there have been nearly 300 school shootings in America ó an average of about one a week. (This includes K through college.)  

Endnote 2-There are now reports that at least three Broward County Police Officers made no attempt to enter the school and confront the shooter.

Endnote 3-1934Ėpresent. The NRA formed its Legislative Affairs Division to update members with facts and analysis of upcoming bills, after the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) became the first federal gun-control law passed in the U.S. Karl Frederick, NRA President in 1934, during congressional NFA hearings testified "I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. ... I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses." The NRA supported the NFA along with the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), which together created a system to federally license gun dealers and established restrictions on particular categories and classes of firearms.

Until the middle 1970s, the NRA mainly focused on sportsmen, hunters and target shooters, and downplayed gun control issues. However, passage of the GCA galvanized a growing number of NRA gun rights activists, including Harlon Carter. In 1975, it began to focus more on politics and established its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), with Carter as director. The next year, its political action committee (PAC), the Political Victory Fund, was created in time for the 1976 elections. The 1977 annual convention was a defining moment for the organization and came to be known as "The Cincinnati Revolution". Leadership planned to relocate NRA headquarters to Colorado and to build a $30 million recreational facility in New Mexico, but activists within the organization whose central concern was Second Amendment rights defeated the incumbents and elected Carter as executive director and Neal Knox as head of the NRA-ILA. 


Endnote 03/01/2018  Okay. Some readers believe that legislatures who support gun control but have not been successful in persuading enough of their fellow legislatures to work with them to pass effective or meaningful gun control legislation should not be swept out of office with those who oppose gun control. The argument is meritorious and I thought about it myself after posting the article. I am still of the opinion that people with good thoughts must be effective, and to collect their salaries for being ineffective does not sit well. After all, what has Congress done for the last five years? For the better part of five or six years they have basically done nothing other than run for office. Gun control is important and I can think of no other issue of equal importance. (There is a solution to police brutality, Plan B.)

But I agree with the argument that some have made efforts to pass gun control but are too few in number to get any decent bill through the Senate or the House. So perhaps deserve a pass for now. But they must be monitored. And the pass applies only if they have never taken any money from the NRA.

Effective or meaningful Gun Control? Well, lets raise the age required to purchase firearms to 21, ban assault weapons, and the sale of any kit that allows one to alter the operation of a weapon to make an assault weapon. The details can be worked out by persons knowledgeable of firearms and their operations.

Matthew 18:25-35 (NIV) 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27 The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. 29 "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' 30 "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Matthew 7:15-20 (NLT) 15 "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree canít produce bad fruit, and a bad tree canít produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.